Database-Specific Searching Tips
Author and Title: In bibliographic searching, punctuation and
spacing must match exactly that in the online bibliography.
To search only the works of Voltaire type voltaire
in the author field. (To search only texts about Voltaire's works enter
1998 in the Date field or secondary material in the Title field.)
Some scholars' names of secondary material contain accented characters
and must be entered as such; however, in order to
enter names without having to pay attention to accents simply turn on Caps
Lock and type in uppercase. Thus, entering JOSE-MICHEL MOUREAUX
finds works by José-Michel Moureaux.
Some titles in Voltaire électronique are quite long
and may contain various forms of punctuation and accentuation. In
searching the bibliography by title, one should use a minimum number of
terms, choosing a term or terms that are unique within the bibliography.
Note: at this time the following punctuation
marks and symbols
produce a "No documents found" message: parentheses (( )), ampersand
(&), left single (`) and double quotes (""), and
square brackets ([ ]). Thus block-copying a title such as
Madrigal ['Ah! Camargo, que vous êtes brillante' ] will produce a "No
documents found" message. Try the most distinctive word or string such as
camargo or a wildcard character (period) for the marks of
punctuation (e.g., Madrigal ..Ah! Camargo, que vous Etes
The following punctuation marks have no adverse effect on a title search
and, if appearing within a string, must be entered: comma, period, hyphen,
apostrophe, colon, semi-colon, question mark, exclamation mark, and forward slash (/).
In all cases, spacing must match exactly that in the bibliography.
Please note that a space must be entered after an
apostrophe (e.g., search for d' un to find d'un).
Date: The texts in the database by Voltaire range in date from 1704
to 1778. In most cases the date of composition is given; if in doubt a
conjectural date may be given; if unknown, the date of the first
publication is given. The secondary works range in date from 1968 on, but
can only be searched by date by entering 1998, the date of the electronic
edition, in the date field. To limit a search to only texts about
Voltaire's works, enter 1998 in the date field.
Literary Form: To limit one's search to a particular literary form,
simply enter the code into the Literary Form box. One may
search more than one literary form at a time; the vertical bar ( | ) serves as
the OR operator (e.g., entering P|T
searches both Poésie and Théâtre).
- Contes = C
- Histoires = H
- Mélanges = M
- Oeuvres alphabétiques = A
- Poésie = P
- Théâtre = T
There is no unusual orthography in this database. Words that contain accented characters must be entered as such; however, in order to
enter words without having to pay attention to accents simply turn on Caps
Lock and type in all uppercase. Thus, entering HELENE finds the
name Hélène. This is best since accentuation is not always
consistent, especially since an initial capital letter often loses its
diacritic (one can find, for example, the following four forms in the
database: epitre, epître, épitre, and épître).
Several data-entry errors have been found in some databases either from
typesetting errors in the original source or
from rekeying the documents. One should avoid making arguments from
silence. In particular, look out for the
transposition of letters (e.g., qoui for quoi) or the doubling of letters
(e.g., mauuvaise for mauvaise).
Also, some confusion occasionally
seems to have arisen between the letter "v" and the letter "u" (e.g.,
ouurage, trouué and sauuer) and between the letter "g" and the
letter "q" (e.g., qouverneur). Wildcard characters or Boolean operators can help detect such anomalies.
One may enter mau.?vaise or ouvrage|ouurage or
ou.rage to achieve the desired results.
Punctuation and Full-Text
Hyphens: Hypens act as word separators. Thus,
one should treat hypenated expressions as separate words excluding the
hyphen (e.g. if searching for post-apostolique, type in post
Apostrophes: One must include apostrophes when searching words with
apostrophes and one must insert a space after apostrophes since in this
database apostrophes act as word separators (e.g., only by typing d'
amour will one find "d'amour "). English possessives and contractions
must be entered with a space after the apostrophe (e.g., to search for
"Voltaire's" or "can't" enter voltaire' s and can' t).
Ampersands: The ampersand (&) is not a searchable
Phrase Searches where an ampersand may be used as a conjunction.
Formatting and Display:
Character Display: At this time, Greek characters display but
Results Display: Please be advised that, when searching for two or
more terms within the same paragraph, the concordance report expands the
amount of text displayed to include all of the search terms in the
paragraph. At times this text can be several screens in length since some
paragraph divisions in documents in this database are very far
Pagination: Texts from the Moland edition do not include page
numbers. If one clicks on page????? on the results screen,
one retrieves the entire text.
For greater context click on paragraph or sections and sub-sections
listed, which are available in Concordance Results Format.
Notes: There are notes throughout Voltaire électronique. These include notes written by Voltaire himself,
variant readings, and other editorial notes. In
PhiloLogic notes never interfere when searching the text to which they
refer. To search only the text within notes enter Notes in the Division Objects Field Type and then enter keyword(s) in the "Search in Texts for:" box.
Images: There are several images throughout the database. They are
displayed as inline images or links to images once the user pulls up any
level of context
(e.g., page, paragraph, or section), but not from a first-level results
screen. To find an image search the phrase: petite planche
and click on paragraph.